I stumbled across this online recipe by chef Patrick Jamon of Villa Deevena restaurant in Los Pargos, Costa Rica. One of the reasons I adore it is because it makes me reminisce about culinary school. The vegetables have to be julienned, and at chef’s school our first attempt at julienne was done with carrots. Our teacher would make us do it over and over again. When it was flawless, we would move on to another vegetable!
- 4 x 170 g cod or angelfish fillets, skin removed
- salt, to taste
- 2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 4 t olive oil
- 1 large leek, white portion only, trimmed and cut into 5 cm segments and julienned (about 1 cup)
- 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger , peeled and finely grated
- ½ thumb-size piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated or 1 t ground turmeric
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
- ½ cup snow peas, julienned
- ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
- ½ t fish sauce
- 1 t red chilli paste
- 1 ½ T red curry paste
- 2 sprigs fresh coriander, to garnish
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish
- sticky jasmine rice, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Season the fish generously with salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 t olive oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat.
4. Add the fish and fry until golden on both sides – about 3 minutes per side.
5. Transfer the fish to the baking tray and place in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the dish.
6. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and heat over a medium to high setting.
7. Add the leek and sauté for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly golden.
8. Add the ginger and turmeric and sauté for a minute or so, stirring frequently.
9. Add the carrot, snow peas and green peas and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.
10. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with clingwrap and set aside.
11. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, chilli paste and curry paste to the same pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
12. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid is further reduced.
13. Stir in the cooked vegetables and heat for about 1 minute until warmed through.
14. Divide the fish between shallow serving bowls and spoon the sauce and vegetables over the fish.
15. Garnish with fresh coriander and sliced chilli and serve hot with sticky jasmine rice.
This is an extract from Curried by Cariema Isaacs. It is published by Penguin Random House South Africa.
Photographs: Turhaan Samodien